Doug HesneyFriday, August 23, 2019
In 2019, professional communicators are faced with a fragmented media environment that makes measuring impact extremely difficult – particularly for B2B programs. It is no secret that audiences increasingly “self-curate” their media consumption – dividing attention among social media feeds, cable and local news, as well as top-tier and relevant trade media.
Given this context, many within our industry struggle with providing a valid measurement of a program’s efficacy. Some agencies are investing millions of dollars in systems that can help demonstrate value and ROI of earned media. Others still rely on tried and true metrics such as ad value equivalency and total impressions. Yet while better and more effective tools are welcome – it is critical that agencies become better at analyzing data and applying its insights to clients on a customized basis.
At Makovsky, this is particularly important because we orient our programs around an “audience first” and channel agnostic philosophy. In practice, this means our teams are wholly integrated and trained to develop and deliver both traditional “earned media” as well as compelling content. This approach helps mitigate media fragmentation, by ensuring our messages are consistently delivered into the marketplace across an array of channels – but complicates accurate measures of impact.
Makovsky is meeting this challenge through customized metrics and data analysis. At the onset of each program, we work with our clients to develop a series of bespoke key performance indicators (KPIs) that correlate directly to specific client goals. For example, if a client is a challenger brand, we will likely leverage key competitors as a benchmark, to determine whether we are increasing our overall share of voice and engagement. If clients are primarily focused on overall brand awareness or increasing sales, our KPIs will be concerned with which topics, channels and messages best correlate to increases in organic search and web traffic.
There are no silver bullets or one-size-fits-all approach to measure a program’s impact. Each client’s needs, audiences and goals are unique and must be measured accordingly. As the industry and media environment continues to evolve, customized data analysis offers our clients the most meaningful tool to judge efficacy and success.